December 18th, 2013

Smooth like a White Russian


So what can I say, things are good. Christmas is nearing, the tree is up, the first real tree for a long time… yeah, we feel good here.

I had lots of web design work come in, which is excellent, and I am able to treat those people closest to me with something nice I hope. But more important than that, it is nice to just feel good and be able to have it rub off on others.

Sometimes I have felt like I am the same old mind in slightly older skin. Unable to shake off whatever habits I may have thought myself into, and basically found myself saying, or doing the same old stuff over and over. Until it changes, until the decision to change it is made, and for me that goes right back into the passions, right back into the music.

Feeling good, being happy about how you think, are really quite important in making and finishing and even releasing music I think. To think that a few years ago I started this blog, being in a position where I hadn’t work on my own solo music for quite some time, and even longer than that where I had actually finished a track, that little bit of effort, just that little bit, and amazing things have happened. And to be honest, as much as people say it is an achievement to create music everyday, wouldn’t we all love to do just that? Wouldn’t that be an amazing way to spend a little amount of time? I think it’s a no brainer, and the effort is somewhere really in our own decision to simply get on with it.

I know I often say this, but I am always hearing people saying “yeah… I wish I had the time”. I have said it too, but do you know what I have learned recently? the day is full of time, and it is amazing how much you can get into that day if you really, really want to. For sure, it might not seem easy, but like anything, after a while it is really easy. Then the easier it gets, the more fun that can be had, the more you can switch off, rest the mind, or do whatever needs to be done to have fun, and feel good.

I used to envy those people who seemed to be able to get on with stuff, always full of energy, always excited, always being creative or doing amazing things. I used to wish I could do that, but somewhere along the line had decided that I wasn’t a person who could do that. No sooner did I make that decision, I was imprisoned by my own decision. Often it takes something dramatic to change your thinking to gain some perspective to realise, ‘oh wait, maybe I can do this’. But do you know what, you don’t have to wait till something dramatic, you can just decide to do it now.

Take one of them loops you have been pissing about with for the last year, and just jam it for 4-5mins, and record it, give it a name, and say it’s done. Then get another one of them loops and do it again, and again. After a while you will have some tracks. You might think they will be shit, and they will be if you think that, but if you think they are some static, minimal, repetitive grooves and f**k it you like it like that… then it’s going to sound pretty sweet.

The one thing I have learnt, and continue to be surprised by it, is the simple act of numbers. Putting tracks together, on a cd or in a playlist if you prefer, and listening to them over and over, they start to sound very, very different. Some very magical happens that can never happen when they are loops or works in progress. Even the simple presentation of looping those loops for a few mins, and spending a little bit of time on the beginning and ending, and that can be as simple as fading… they will sound pretty exciting. And being excited about your music is how you write more.

Tonights upload has been creating using the Atari STE to sequence the Nord G1. I am using similar patches to yesterdays upload, again slightly tweaked, but this time have spent a bit more time on the sequence. My excitement has come about from using that Atari, and using the key shortcuts which is something I never did back in the day. Now, the sound of those keys sound better than anything I have heard before. Hitting those keys to record, play, create tracks, parts, and undo my duff playing, brings a smile to my face that I believe you can here in the music. For me, and I believe for everyone, is the importance of having the machines you have an attachment to, having the sounds and experiences that create attachment, and with all these things we need to appreciate the importance of them, every single time.

Go record your loops… go do it, stop being a wuss!

Enjoy the upload and I hope your are getting festive.

(Update: Next upload will be Christmas Eve… away for holidays. See you then.)